I wanted to finish the talk on labor this time by looking at labor unions and how they are being compromised by the stress of corporate control of government. I always say-----YOUR LABOR AND JUSTICE LEADERS KNOW THIS----and they do not all of what I speak----but they are under great pressure to keep union rights in tact. So, please support labor unions as the strongest solution to holding power accountable. To keep strong we need union leadership that works for ALL LABOR. It undermines union support when a labor leader says to me----I am looking out for my union only. UNITED WE STAND AND DIVIDED WE FALL. Global corporations and their pols are using every trick in the book to divide!
These are the factions I see being created by pressures from global corporate pols against unions:
I speak to national AFL-CIO about supporting neo-liberals who are killing public sector unions with privatizing schemes. The AFL-CIO supports Immigration Reform knowing it is tied to Trans Pacific Trade Pact which will kill all labor. Trumka knows this reform is not about helping US immigrants. The AFL-CIO has taken a global corporate structure complete with having a credit union and credit cards. Credit unions are now operating just like Wall Street banks so it now operates with an eye towards profiting from its consumers just as banks do. It's international reach now places priority on contracts that create winners and losers with lessening membership voice. National AFL-CIO will tell me they support public sector unions but it does not show! These are the reasons the AFL-CIO still goes with neo-liberals each election and this hurts the US membership. We can have international union support but unions must stay away from these corporate models. Keep union actions local beyond boycotts please!
WILHELM IS RIGHT!
Wilhelm: AFL-CIO ‘bureaucratic,’ ‘disconnected’ from workers
Thursday, July 21, 2005 | 11:04 a.m.
Although John Wilhelm says he won't challenge John Sweeney for the presidency of the AFL-CIO, he levels strong criticism at labor's top official.
Wilhelm, hospitality president of UNITE HERE, parent of Culinary Union Local 226, called the AFL-CIO a bureaucratic organization that is out of touch with the plight of workers.
"I think it's simple, the problem with the AFL-CIO is the AFL-CIO has become a beltway place that has very little connection to where the economic and political action is in this country," Wilhelm said. "Which is out in the 50 states."
He said he doesn't expect delegates to agree to effective changes in the AFL-CIO's structure and operations at the AFL-CIO's convention in Chicago,
The convention starts Monday.
Wilhelm said he isn't considering a run for president of the AFL-CIO against incumbent Sweeney at the convention, because the unions in the federation that represent a majority of union workers don't support the kinds of changes he thinks will be effective in strengthening the labor movement.
"I have always said the question of reform comes first and the question of leadership comes second," Wilhelm said. "If unions representing a majority of union members favored reform then I would run, but that's not the case. Unions that represent 60 percent of union members believe there is no need for change."
Wilhelm said he doesn't expect the AFL-CIO leadership to agree to changes that will be effective enough to strengthen the labor movement.
"Unions representing a majority of AFL-CIO union members have made clear they support the status quo in the AFL-CIO," Wilhelm said. "I don't expect any change at the AFL-CIO convention."
Wilhelm led the Culinary Union's negotiations with Las Vegas casinos during the 1980s and '90s. He now represents one of six unions that have formed a coalition of unions that have sought organizational changes within the AFL-CIO. That group includes UNITE HERE, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, the Service Employees International Union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Laborers' International Union of North America and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
The dissident unions say they are seeking more of an investment in organizing and more of a bipartisan approach to politics, in the wake of declining union membership. That approach seeks to align the union with politicians who are worker-friendly regardless of their political party affiliation.
Although the Change to Win Coalition doesn't represent a majority of the union members in the AFL-CIO, Wilhelm said the group's six unions represent about 6 million union members -- or about 40 percent of the total number of unionized workers in the country. He said the coalition plans to meet at its founding convention in the fall, with a place and specific time yet to be determined.
"We have a very strong group of unions," Wilhelm said. "We're going to set up a permanent organization. We're going to welcome unions that stay in the AFL-CIO or unions that leave the AFL-CIO."
He said if effective changes aren't devised at the AFL-CIO convention his union won't continue to fight other unions that agree with the AFL-CIO's leadership. UNITE HERE hasn't made any moves to withdraw from the AFL-CIO -- but he said it's an option.
"We're not going to engage in a prolonged fight with other unions," Wilhelm said. "If some unions believe that the status quo is acceptable they should go their own way. We're going to establish an alternative organization. Whether or not we stay within the AFL-CIO, we're going to do the things we think need to be done to improve things for American workers."
Wilhelm also said the reason he resigned his post as chair of the AFL-CIO Immigration Committee earlier this week is because the AFL-CIO, led by Sweeney, has taken over the committee. He said the committee hasn't met, but that the AFL-CIO and its staff have gone ahead and made policies without consulting the committee.
Wilhelm said the AFL-CIO's member unions had previously been able to come to an agreement that immigrant workers are important to the nation's economy and that the fate of immigrant workers is tied into the fate of all workers. He said because the Immigration Committee has had no input in the AFL-CIO's immigration policies that the unions no longer have a consensus on the issue of immigration.
"I think it's because the AFL-CIO has become a beltway bureaucracy that is disconnected from the realities that go on in Nevada and California and New York and the rest of the world," Wilhelm said. "Avoiding the bureaucratic approach was the reason why it (the Immigration Committee) was successful."
But Sweeney said in a letter addressed to Wilhelm that the UNITE HERE official is misrepresenting the work of the committee. Sweeney said UNITE HERE's positions on immigration -- including its support for a guest-worker program -- made the work of supporting immigration efforts more difficult. He also noted that UNITE HERE has dissented from most unions on immigration legislation proposed by U.S. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
"Two of the most active and vocal unions on the Immigration Committee LIUNA (Laborers) and UFCW, strongly disagreed with the UNITE HERE position of abandoning prevailing wage standards and allowing for a significantly expanded temporary worker program without effective labor protections," Sweeney wrote. "The Teamsters also objected to the UNITE HERE-backed construct of a guest worker program."
Sweeney said only at Kennedy's request did he step in to ensure discussions on that topic continued.
Wilhelm denied that disputes over specific immigration issues led him to quit the committee.
"The AFL-CIO's bureaucracy has taken over the committee and rendered it irrelevant," Wilhelm said. "It's symptomatic of what's wrong with the AFL-CIO."
He acknowledged that immigration issues are complicated and controversial and that the unions did disagree on specific issues, but said he welcomes differing opinions.
Wilhelm said that the way unions operate in Las Vegas is the way the rest of the labor movement should operate. Unions in Las Vegas, particularly the Culinary Union, have been successful at organizing because they work well with companies that are willing to cooperate with them and fight those companies that won't.
The Teamsters Union's general executive board made a move to distance itself from the AFL-CIO Wednesday. The group gave its President James Hoffa, the ability to withdraw from the umbrella organization if he chooses to do so. The Teamsters general executive board also gave the official go-ahead to affiliate with the Change to Win Coalition.
Folks, when the economic crash came in 2008 and banks and investment firms were heading toward bankruptcy no one supported the bank bailout. You can bet that this financial branch of the AFL-CIO wanted very much to see that bailout because it profits just as Wall Street does. When you have unions as banks and investment firms they have incentives to seek low wages to maximize corporate profits in which they have investments. Look at this public private investment in cities where the City Government partners with a hotel and then the hotel abuses its labor to maximize profits----the City is profiting off of labor abuse. The same thing happens when unions are investment firms. Their loyalties tilt towards profit.
That is why we see national union leaders backing these neo-liberals leading us to global corporate rule. PLEASE MAKE UNIONS STRONG WITH LEADERSHIP THAT SUPPORTS LABOR!
Who We Are | Membership Eligibilty | How to Join
Who We Are
The mission of the AFL-CIO Employees Federal Credit Union is to be the primary financial institution for union families, providing quality products and member service, consistent with the values of the labor movement.
As a credit union, we exist solely to serve the financial needs of our membership. Those services include not simply loans and savings and checking accounts, but all sorts of ways to make it easier to manage the money in one’s accounts. They also include educational services like the free Balance Financial Fitness Program.
Our credit union is run democratically. The members elect a board of directors in annual elections. Our day-to-day operations are carried out by a professional staff whose members always treat you as more than just a customer. After all, when you belong to AFL-CIO Employees Federal Credit Union, you’re one of the owners.
You are in the field of membership of the AFL-CIO Employees Federal Credit Union and are eligible to join and participate fully in our credit union if you are employed by:
- The AFL-CIO
- An affiliated AFL-CIO International Union
- A constitutional department of the AFL-CIO
- A state or local central labor body
- Office and Professional Employees International Union--Local 2
- United Food and Commercial Workers Union--Local 400
- National Football League Players Association
- International Union of Painters Allied Trades, District Council 51
If you’re a member, all your immediate family members are also eligible to join, no matter where they live. Immediate family members include: your spouse, children, siblings, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, stepparents, stepchildren, stepsiblings, and adoptive relationships.
Once you join the AFL-CIO Employees Federal Credit Union, you’re a member for life. Even if you change jobs, move, or retire, you can still continue to enjoy the many benefits of Credit Union membership.
How to Join
Opening a Regular Share Savings account with as little as $5 will establish your lifetime membership in the credit union. It’s easy to become a member. There are just three simple steps:
- Apply. Fill out a membership application. Bring or mail it to one of our branches.
- Deposit. Write a check (payable to AFL-CIO Employees Federal Credit Union) or provide cash for your initial deposit of $5. Please do not send cash by mail.
This group is simply a Wall Street investment firm that pretends to invest in union or labor related business but as everyone knows THESE GROUPS DO WHATEVER MAKES THE MOST MONEY. It's like these green businesses that get tax breaks but do nothing that is green. Whenever an organization becomes so entrenched in corporate culture as this-----it no longer works for labor. The NAACP has done the same thing and you hear no voice from either labor or justice on all these neo-liberal policies that are killing us.
THIS IS WHY WE DO NOT HAVE LABOR LEADERS EDUCATING PEOPLE AS TO WHY NEO-LIBERALS AND THEIR POLICIES ARE BAD. THEY ARE COMING OUT AFTER THESE POLICIES ARE PASSED TO CONDEMN THEM.
Union members must know that Clinton created the downfall for unions with NAFTA and deregulation.....you do not want leaders that are still supporting these guys. This is why unions have such low support in mainstream labor.
The AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation (ITC) is an institutional investor relations firm that provides non-fiduciary marketing services to investment funds seeking to grow within the multi-employer and public fund markets. Since 1999, ITC has leveraged its extensive knowledge of both the labor movement and the pension community to raise $4.1 billion in capital for labor-related investment vehicles. Investment funds served by the ITC have 188 pension plan investors and $4.1 billion in total assets.
The ITC is part of the AFL-CIO Investment Program, a framework that also includes three large pooled investment funds: the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust, a commercial real estate fund; the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, a fixed-income investment company; and the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund, a S&P 500 Index Fund.
AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust
GET RID OF TRUMKA AND DONAHUE! WE NEED LABOR LEADERS WORKING FOR LABOR!
If you look below you will see two major labor leaders in a statement that says just what neo-liberals are pushing right now. Keep in mind that most Post Office employees hate Donahue so Trumka is not in good company. The first statement I highlight is the career college and job training tracking that I constantly speak against. It does not help union membership to have no pathway for their children out of vocational education and that is what corporate education policy is doing and indeed-----unions are pushing this career college movement of taxpayer money and away from academic track funding. We can and should have a strong vocational track and we do not need to dismantle the academic track to do this---it is not either/or. The policy is killing public education.
The next statement has Trumka saying-----even with high unemployment bring in the immigrant labor. This is of what I spoke yesterday. There will be no modest increase----it will be huge and displace large sectors of US labor and Trumka knows this. Trumka backs this because global corporations threw a bone that says for now-----unions can organize immigrants. Driving US labor to third world level does not balance organizing immigrants. That is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
'Our challenge is building an economy that responds to the market-based needs of business'.....THAT IS WALL STREET SPEAK FOLKS. I'm hearing union leaders speaking all the time lately about market-based needs of business. This means maximized profits and it means 'at the expense of labor and justice'. Congress moving from social to market-based Cost Analysis is what killed the middle-class and is dismantling our social safety nets.
'Building a system that is more transparent' means HANDING ALL PERSONAL DATA TO CORPORATIONS SO THEY CAN MAXIMIZE PROFITS. Trumka is embracing the open-door policies of handing all public data to corporations under the guise of FIXING THE SYSTEM.
Joint Statement of Shared Principles by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue & AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
February 21, 2013 The United States will always be a nation of immigrants who have contributed greatly to the vitality, diversity, and creativity of American life. Yet, like the rest of America’s immigration system, the mechanisms for evaluating our labor market needs and admitting foreign workers – as well as recruiting US workers – for temporary and permanent jobs are broken or non-existent. Current immigration policies are rigid, cumbersome and inefficient. What is needed is the creation of a professional bureau in a federal executive agency to inform Congress and the public about these issues together with a system that provides for lesser-skilled visas that respond to employers’ needs while protecting the wages and working conditions of lesser-skilled workers – foreign or domestic. Current efforts at comprehensive immigration reform present a unique and historic opportunity for American workers and businesses to work together to fix this aspect of the badly broken system.
Over the last months, representatives of business and labor have been engaged in serious discussions about how to fix the system in a way that benefits both workers and employers, with a focus on lesser-skilled occupations. We have found common ground in several important areas, and have committed to continue to work together and with Members of Congress to enact legislation that will solve our current problems in a lasting manner.
Specifically, we agree that the following principles should guide legislation in the complicated and important area of addressing lesser-skilled immigration to our country:
First, American workers should have a first crack at available jobs. To that end, business and labor are committed to improving the way that information about job openings in lesser-skilled occupations reaches the maximum number of workers, particularly those in disadvantaged communities.
Second, there are instances – even during tough economic times – when employers are not able to fill job openings with American workers. Those instances will surely increase as the economy improves, and when they occur, it is important that our laws permit businesses to hire foreign workers without having to go through a cumbersome and inefficient process. Our challenge is to create a mechanism that responds to the needs of business in a market-driven way, while also fully protecting the wages and working conditions of U.S. and immigrant workers. Among other things, this requires a new kind of worker visa program that does not keep all workers in a permanent temporary status, provides labor mobility in a way that still gives American workers a first shot at available jobs, and that automatically adjusts as the American economy expands and contracts.
Third, we need to fix the system so that it is much more transparent, which requires that we build a base of knowledge using real-world data about labor markets and demographics. The power of today’s technology enables us to use that knowledge to craft a workable demand-driven process fed by data that will inform how America addresses future labor shortages. We recognize that there is no simple solution to this issue. We agree that a professional bureau in a federal executive agency, with political independence analogous to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, should be established to inform Congress and the public about these issues.
We are now in the middle – not the end – of this process, and we pledge to continue to work together and with our allies and our representatives on Capitol Hill to finalize a solution that is in the interest of this country we all love.